Non-self is cause and effect

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 8 Discussion Group A (51:46-53:15)

People have an incomplete understanding of Anatta. They think of Anatta as ‘I have no control’ over things, but that’s not correct because there’s a cause and effect process.

What we need to understand is that when the result is already here, we cannot change the present result. Anatta is actually cause and effect – if we understood cause and effect, we would know that in the present moment there is a choice to effect new causes, to put in new conditions.

Wisdom can put in new conditions like remembering to be aware, learning how to be aware, or just putting in wholesome minds. It can then have positive effects because if you put in the wholesome conditions, then wholesome results come about.

Anatta doesn’t mean that there is no control; it only means that all you can work on are the conditions, not the current results.

If there were no Anatta, you wouldn’t be able to fulfill the perfections, the paramis; you won’t be able to supply those conditions for the perfection of the paramis. But because it is possible, we can fulfill the paramis.